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15 Jul 2017 04:52am IST

Report by
Rahul Chandawarkar

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15 Jul 2017 04:52am IST

Report by
Rahul Chandawarkar

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With more and more pubs and restaurants jumping on the quizzing bandwagon, there is a new zing to quizzing


It is suddenly raining quizzes in amchen Goem!

Clubs, pubs and restaurants have all begun organising monthly quizzes. There are as many as five regular monthly quizzes taking place in the state today. A figure which, according to experts, could even reach ten every month in the tourist season.

However, it was not always like this. According to ace quizzer and quiz host Rajiv D’Silva, about 14 of his friends met on the terrace of his Panjim home one Sunday evening in June 2007 to conduct a quiz. The group soon swelled to 25-30 people and the quizzers had to shift to the Corporation of the City of Panjim hall for their monthly dose of Sunday quizzing. This is how the popular Sunday Evening Quiz Club (SEQC) was born.

Before the formation of the SEQC, which quiz ace Aniruddha Sen Gupta points out is pronounced as ‘sexy’, there was hardly any quizzing activity in Goa. Passionate quizzers like Rajiv and publisher Harshvardhan Bhatkuly used to travel to Pune and Mumbai as a team and win prizes in the popular Brand Equity and Tata Crucible quizzes. According to Aniruddha, the performance of the duo in these quizzes prompted the Tata Crucible to conduct a special Goa round of their quiz in the following years.

As the national quizzing spotlight fell on Goa, local schools, colleges and organisations soon jumped on the quizzing bandwagon. These include the Incredible India Quizzes held on August 15 every year, the Goa History Quiz for schools organised by the Xavier Centre of Historical Research (XCHR) and several other inter-school and open quizzes.

Meanwhile, the SEQC started a Margao chapter in 2011 and quizzers suddenly had the option of attending the Panjim SEQC on the first Sunday of each month at the International Centre Goa (ICG) at Dona Paula or the Margao SEQC at the government health department office in Margao on the last Sunday of each month. SEQC is quite clearly the umbrella organisation for all quizzing in Goa. Says Rajiv, “The secret of SEQC’s success is that there are no entry barriers. Quizzes are attended by the young and the old, by hardcore quizzers and complete greenhorns. The atmosphere is friendly and light-hearted, unlike other quiz clubs where the atmosphere can be very over-intellectualised and unwelcoming.”

Inspired by the SEQC, Malaka Spice, the Southeast Asian restaurant inside the Grande Delmon Hotel in Panjim, introduced their own monthly quiz on the last Wednesday of each month, from February 2017. This quiz is gaining in popularity.

Rajiv D’Silva, who hosts the Malaka Spice quiz, says, “Pub quizzes are a good way for restaurants and pubs to attract a different kind of clientele to their establishments, one that would normally not patronise them. I think many restaurants and pubs in Goa have realised this and are now scheduling quiz events in the same way they would bands and other ‘entertainment’ events.”

Among the early movers on the quiz scene is the Earthen Oven Pub in Candolim, which began their monthly quiz evenings on the third Friday of each month, hosted by quiz masters like Aniruddha in the tourist season of 2015. Says Srijit Kumar, Marketing Manager, Acron India, owners of Earthen Oven, “We host our monthly quiz to a packed room of first-time and veteran quizzers who mingle in free teams to crack the quiz of the month over free-flowing food and drinks.”

According to Aniruddha, quizzes in pubs and restaurants can be a lot of fun. “There are certain non-serious formats that can be tried out at pub quizzes which we usually would not explore at our regular quizzes. Also, one can have questions on more risqué subjects. For example, a recent pub quiz was titled ‘Tears of the Peacock: Love and Sex in the Time of Birdbrains’.”

The latest kid on the block seems to be the Watson’s Grub and Pub near the Garcia de Orta park in Panjim. Watson’s has started a monthly quiz on the first Thursday of each month. Says Ashley D’Cruz, manager, “We wanted to go beyond bands and music and do something different. The pub quiz allows us to interact with our guests in a fun manner.”

As can be seen, if you have a yen for quizzing, you can have a great evening in Goa, sipping a martini and figuring out who constructed the Great Wall of China. ‘Eat, drink and quiz’ is undoubtedly the new mantra!

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